Chicken Stuffed with Spinach, Pine Nuts and Parmesan

Think chicken breast is boring? Then you haven't considered the possibilities. It's not only a nice, healthy, lean protein, it's so versatile that it's hard to get bored with it. You can have it every day for months and never eat the same recipe twice.

Here's one tasty option.


Non-stick cooking spray
1/4 cup pine nuts (pignolis)
6 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves, washed and dried
3 oz. coarsely grated Parmesan cheese
3 tbsp. zesty Lite Italian dressing
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 tbsp. olive oil
1/4 cup chicken broth


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a pan with nonstick cooking spray. Put it on medium heat and toss in the pine nuts. Toast them for about a minute or two, tossing often to prevent burning. Put them into a bowl and set them aside.

Spray more nonstick spray on the pan and add the spinach. Cook, stirring frequently until it wilts and cooks down to about half its original size. Add it to the bowl with the pine nuts.

Remove the pan from the heat.

Add the cheese and 1 tbsp. of the Italian dressing to the bowl with the spinach and nuts and mix thoroughly.

Lay a large piece of plastic wrap on the counter or on a board. Place a chicken breast on it and trim away fat or connective tissue. Cover the breast with more plastic wrap and pound it with a tenderizing mallet or heavy pan until flat. Do the same with the other piece of chicken.

Season both sides of each breast with salt and pepper. Divide the spinach mixture on the chicken pieces, then fold or roll them over. Secure with toothpicks or skewers.

Put the pan back on high heat. Add the olive oil when the pan is hot. Place one chicken piece into the pan and brown it (about 1 1/2 minutes per side), turning once. Put it on a baking tray. Brown the other piece of chicken and add it to the baking tray as well.

Add the broth to the baking tray, cover the chicken and bake for about 10 to 12 minutes.

Remove the cover and baste the chicken with the remainder of the dressing. Turn on the broiler and return the chicken to the oven to broil for about 1 minute.

Photo: My Recipes